Resolution Plc in talks to buy Axa's UK life business for about £2.8 billion

Resolution Plc, headed by insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery, is in talks to buy the UK life business of French insurance company Axa for about £2.8 billion.

London-based Resolution, which bought its peer Friends Provident in 2009 for £1.9 billion after being rebuffed twice, (See: British insurers Friends Provident and Resolution to merge) said yesterday that it had been in talks with Axa for over a month. 

The talks began after Axa indicated that it was willing to sell some of its UK businesses.

Resolution said in a statement yesterday, ''Resolution confirms that it is in discussions regarding a potential transaction concerning AXA's life operations in the UK.

''If implemented, this transaction would result in the acquisition by Resolution of the majority of AXA's life assurance operations in the UK, including its businesses in the risk areas of protection and annuities and also its group pensions business.''

Paris-based Axa Group, which had 2009 revenues of  €90 billion and a market capitalisation of €29 billion, is one of the world's leading insurance companies.

Axa UK focuses on life and pensions, wealth management, protection, health and general insurance. Through a number of operating companies including Axa Life, including Axa Wealth; Axa Insurance; Axa PPP healthcare, Axa Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin.